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A Brief Deviation for Literary Snobbery

August 5, 2008

I got this from a friend’s blog. I’ll post this nice list of books and you can see where I – and you – fall in the world of reading.

Here’s how it works:
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE – mine are in blue
4) Reprint this list in your blog.

The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy– Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner– Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude –
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s TaleMargaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 AtonementIan McEwan (read & loved Saturday)
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 DuneFrank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’ Diary Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryRoald Dahl
100 Les Miserables Victor Hugo

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. annamatronic permalink
    August 6, 2008 1:52 am

    I’m kinda horrified that the average American has only read six books from this list. This is actually a really decent list. Hmmm. I’m sad for our culture if this is the truth.

  2. August 6, 2008 8:56 pm

    I wouldn’t trust any “literary” list that has “The Five People You Meet In Heaven”on it…

  3. Pixiedyke permalink
    August 6, 2008 10:37 pm

    Why are “The Chronic(what)cles of Narnia” and “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” listed separately?

  4. August 7, 2008 10:17 am

    I agree with Shadmarsh, actually. What was up with that?

    Anyway, people should read The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Then they should call me.

    Also, Pixiedyke, did you notice The Complete Works of Shakespeare as a separete entry from Hamlet? Hmm.

  5. August 8, 2008 11:38 pm

    dude! i feel so f-in smart right now! I’ve read 32 of these books!

  6. Brian permalink
    August 12, 2008 11:23 am

    I have a small question by the means how do some of these books make it on and greats like The Once and Future King and Canterbury Tales not make it? Seems fiendish!

  7. August 20, 2008 7:50 pm

    I’ve read most of these books, but then I have the excuse of being an avid reader, and I spent two entire years of my life reading literature (grad school in English lit). But “Woman in White” instead of “Moonstone”? Hmmmmm.

    And if you’re looking for a sci-fi choice, I’d go with any Asimov novel before Herbert. Although Dune’s a great book, it ain’t Asimov.

    Damn, I think I’m going to have to borrow this for my bloggie.

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